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Plan outlined for City of Powell River's downtown area

Development scenarios are still underway, according to the city's manager of planning services
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CONDUCTING STUDIES: City of Powell River’s downtown plan is still being worked on, with scenarios for the old arena site and Westview wastewater treatment plant still to be developed.

City of Powell River’s downtown plan is still under development.

At the September 14 city council meeting, manager of planning services Daniella Fergusson provided an update on the process the city is currently undergoing. She said the purpose of a memo she had written for councillors is to bring them up to date on the plan.

“We are in the middle of an economic study, just looking at the financial feasibility, primarily of the old arena site property and Westview wastewater treatment plant site, and the old barge terminal and the building by the sailing club as well,” said Fergusson. “There’s been delays with that. The consultant had a baby, so we’re waiting. The information is going to be used by PWL Landscape Architects to create the downtown plan vision.

“We want to make sure the downtown plan is economically feasible and not just a big vision that people can love but is hard to implement.”

Fergusson said her goal is to have public engagement on the plan this fall. She said the landscape architects will put together material for the city.

“We’ll share that information with the public,” added Fergusson.

Councillor Jim Palm said he appreciated the fine work being down with the plan. He said in Fergusson’s report to council, she mentions the old arena site and Westview wastewater treatment facility that is no longer needed.

“We have things that need to move ahead in terms of the boat launch and everything else,” said Palm. “I read in the study that the timeline is for a couple of years. Is that going to tie up that building [the wastewater treatment site] so that we can’t work on that ground until this plan is done?”

Fergusson said the Westview wastewater treatment site is basically at the top of the hill and doesn’t affect down into the ramp and boat launch.

Palm said an engineer said the city can’t move ahead until it is figured out what can be done with the building.

“I’m just mentioning that so hopefully, we can overcome that hurdle,” said Palm.

Mayor Ron Woznow asked Fergusson if she knew if the consultant has had discussions with Powell River Chamber of Commerce or Marine Area Business Association on the downtown plan.

Fergusson said the economic consultant did interviews but she didn’t have the list of who was interviewed. She said PWL Landscape Architects also reached out to people. She said she would follow up.

According to Fergusson’s report to councillors, with the downtown plan, there are a few technical areas of work remaining, including economic land use analysis, public realm standards for Willingdon Avenue, and development of the plan itself for community review and input.

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